“The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members. We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones,”
Bags of sands were sent to the families of the victims who died in the Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash that occurred in Addis Ababa last Sunday.
The measure was taken because the forensic identification of bodies will last six months.
According to The Guardian newspaper, none of the bodies were intact as they were all charred and fragmented.
Two grieving families spoke about the situation. An Ethiopian government official also confirmed the soil deliveries.
“The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members. We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones,” one family member said.
“We were told by the company that we will be given a kilo (of earth) each for burial at Selassie Church for a funeral they will organise,” another family member added.
Forensic DNA work has begun to identify the remains. But it may take six months to establish each of the victims of the crash, who came from 35 different countries, among them two Nigerians.
Authorities say they will issue death certificates within two weeks.
On Sunday, an aircraft hangar in the Addis Ababa was filled with white roses as aviation staff gathered to remember the two pilots and six crew members, who died in the incident.
The flowers, traditionally used to mark the passing of lives, were placed in front of a row of empty coffins at the ceremony.
“Our deep sorrow cannot bring them back,” an Orthodox priest in a traditional black turban and black robes told the crowd.
Multiple agencies are working to establish the cause of the disaster, while Interpol and Blake Emergency Services, hired by Ethiopian Airlines, will work with the Ethiopian Police and health officials to identify the bodies.
A number of countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8, which was involved in the crash.
Boeing said it supported the grounding of its planes as a precautionary step, but restated “full confidence” in their safety.